SmileDirectClub and Byte have a lot in common. Both clear aligner services offer at-home teeth straightening, and both are significantly more affordable than braces or Invisalign. But when you dig deeper, there are actually some major differences between these companies’ services.
We’re here to help you decipher these differences and determine the features you find most important. In this comparison review, we’ll take you on an in-depth tour of SmileDirectClub and Byte — first summarizing the key differences before digging into all the nitty-gritty details of their scope of treatment, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer experience.
Table of Contents
Byte vs. SmileDirectclub: Overview
Byte and SmileDirectClub are both affordable, convenient invisible aligner treatments. Either one can handle mild and moderate misalignments, but they boast different prices, procedures, and advantages. Take a look.
|$2,250 for daytime or
|All-Day: $249 down,
36 monthly payments of $70
At-Night: $299 down,
36 monthly payments of $84
28 monthly payments of $89
|All-Day: 4–5 months
At-Night: 5–6 months
|All-Day: 4–6 months
At-Night: 8–10 months
|Impression kit or
|Aligner Kit Includes
HyperByte, one set of retainers
|Aligners, in-office scan (optional), whitening
This is no easy decision. We think both companies have a lot to offer, but after a lot of research and collecting hundreds of customer reviews, we have to call this one for Byte.
Byte wins. Here's why we love them.
- The HyperByte Device: Byte says their high-frequency vibration device, the HyperByte, may help provide a more comfortable aligner fit and might even encourage faster dental shifts for some customers. Byte includes the HyperByte in the cost of every treatment plan.
- Exceptional Customer Support: Byte assigns each customer a personal advisor who can help you get started, and their My Byte app gives you a quick, easy way to access customer support.
Is Byte Right for You?
Your perfect match for orthodontic treatment will depend largely on your priorities, budget, and dental condition.
That said, Byte is an affordable, high-quality treatment option for most people with mild-to-moderate misalignments. They scored 4.3/5 overall based on our five review criteria (scope of treatment, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support) — a higher rating than any other provider.
Before you decide, talk to your dentist.
They know your teeth better than anyone, and they’ll know which treatment would work best for you. They’ll examine your teeth and take X-rays to make sure your mouth is healthy enough for clear aligners. Plus, they’ll check to see if you have any cavities, gingivitis, or other issues to address beforehand.
Now, let’s get into the details.
Scope of Treatment Comparison
First things first. You need to know if these companies can treat your specific case. If you’ve got mild or moderate crowding or spacing in the six front teeth, either one probably can, since that’s where at-home clear aligners excel. But for anything more severe, especially jaw misalignments, braces or Invisalign might be a better bet. Here’s a closer look at what Byte and SmileDirectClub can treat.
Byte Treatment Scope
SmileDirectClub Treatment Scope
- Primarily for mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing.
- Byte says their aligners can handle many cosmetic cases of crowding and spacing, but that bite issues often require an in-person treatment.
- Recommends photo check-ins every month, but doesn’t require them.
- Primarily for mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing.
- SmileDirectClub says their aligners can correct crowding, spacing, and some bite issues.
- Requires virtual check-ins every 90 days throughout treatment.
What Can Byte and SmileDirectClub Treat?
According to Byte’s website, their aligners can treat:
- Mild-to-moderate crowding.
- Mild-to-moderate spacing.
- Some cases of overbite. They say they can “lessen the appearance,” which means they can likely take on mild overbites that don’t involve jaw misalignments.
- Some midline misalignment cases.
Midline misalignment is when the line between your top front teeth is off-center. It’s a cosmetic issue with a range of causes, from simple spacing to jaw irregularities. Byte says they “can improve the appearance,” which likely means they can make your midline appear centered. But if your case stems from a significant bite issue, you might also need a more robust treatment.
And SmileDirectClub’s website claims they can treat:
- Mild-to-moderate crowding.
- Mild-to-moderate spacing.
- Mild-to-moderate overbite or overjet.
- Underbite involving single pairs of upper and lower teeth.
- Localized crossbite.
That might seem like a wider scope of treatment than Byte, but it’s actually about the same. SmileDirectClub claims they can treat bite issues, but if your bite issue stems from a skeletal jaw misalignment, it will probably require extra attachments you can only get from in-person care. If you have an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or other bite issue, know that at-home aligners can typically only treat minor bite issues that stem from crowding or spacing.
What Customers Say
Of the customers who have sent us their Byte experiences, most reported receiving treatment for crowding, spacing, or overbite. Much fewer customers said they had crossbites, underbites, open bites, and overjets. Plus, the reviewers with cases of crowding and spacing gave four- and five-star reviews at a higher rate than customers with issues like open bite and crossbite.
SmileDirectClub reviews have a similar breakdown. Most customers who sent us reviews received treatment for crowding, spacing, and overbite — and those customers gave positive reviews at a higher rate. Fewer customers reported having crossbite, midline shift, underbite, overjet, or snaggletooth, and these customers gave four- and five-star reviews at a slightly lower rate.
Keep in mind that very few customers who sent us reviews for either company reported having complex bite issues, so there’s a smaller sample size for those conditions. However, this also speaks to the types of misalignments both companies will accept.
In-person clear aligner treatments like Invisalign typically involve office visits every 4–10 weeks, and certain at-home aligner services have attempted to replicate this oversight with remote monitoring. It’s not as robust as hands-on treatment, but it provides some peace of mind, and can help the company deliver on the results they promised.
Byte recommends uploading photos of your teeth every month to the My Byte app, but they only require it in certain cases. If you choose to complete all the check-ins, you’ll have fairly regular remote oversight. But if you find them inconvenient, you can also skip them.
SmileDirectClub requires that every customer submit photos to their mobile app every 90 days. They will use these photos to evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your aligner wear schedule, if necessary.
But for anyone who would prefer to have a dentist more involved, SmileDirectClub has an option called CarePlus. This hybrid model blends in-person care with remote monitoring, so a local dentist will be part of your treatment. It also includes two years of retainers, plus its own dedicated support team, but it costs $3,900 instead of SmileDirectClub’s usual $2,250.
Quality of Materials
SmileDirectClub produces most of its aligners in-house. They’ve implemented a design they call Comfort Sense, which uses aligners of various thicknesses designed to ease customers into treatment with lighter movements before progressing to a thicker design.
In late 2020, Byte was acquired by Dentsply Sirona, a reputable dental manufacturing company that makes cleaning instruments, scanning machines, retainers, and virtually any other dental equipment you can imagine. Byte doesn’t say what specific type of plastic they use, but they have the materials and resources of an established, respected company behind them, which gives us a lot of confidence.
One of the first things many adults check when considering home aligner treatment is their budget. Since both Byte and SmileDirectClub are often thousands cheaper than Invisalign and other in-office treatments, they’re popular choices for budget-conscious adults. Among at-home aligners, both services are fairly average, but Byte’s lower sticker price and one set of free retainers make them a slightly more affordable option.
- $1,999 sticker price (or $2,399 for Byte-At-Night).
- Includes one set of aftercare retainers in the initial cost.
- The impression kit is $95.
- Financing requires a down payment, but they approve everyone.
- $2,250 sticker price.
- Charges $125 for retainers after treatment.
- Impression kit is $59 (or free at a SmileShop location).
- Financing requires a down payment, but they approve everyone.
At $2,250, SmileDirectClub’s sticker price is a bit more expensive than Byte’s $1,999 price point. However, there’s also a difference in their impression kit and retainer costs. SmileDirectClub’s impression kit is $59, whereas Byte’s is $95, and neither is included in the sticker price.
SmileDirectClub, however, gives you the option to skip the impression kit by getting a teeth scan at one of their 100+ SmileShops or 1,000+ partnering dental offices. Byte does not have any physical locations, but they include one set of aftercare retainers in their upfront cost. SmileDirectClub charges an additional $125 for retainers at the end of treatment. Even after this give-and-take, both companies’ total costs come out almost equal, yet Byte is slightly cheaper.
But not if you choose Byte At-Night. Byte’s nighttime-only option uses a design and materials selected specifically for overnight wear, and you’ll end up paying $2,399 instead. SmileDirectClub’s nighttime aligners cost the same amount as its standard daytime treatment.
Either company will provide high-quality aligners for much less than traditional in-office options, which often go for hundreds or thousands more.
As you think about cost, you should also keep in mind how you might finance your treatment. Again, SmileDirectClub and Byte both offer financing options. Here are the details:
- SmileDirectClub offers a 28-month financing plan ($89/month) that requires a $250 down payment. No credit check required.
- Byte’s 36-month plan ($70/month) requires a $249 down payment. For Byte At-Night, it’s $84 a month + a $299 down payment. Soft credit check required.
With both services, you’ll pay a bit extra to finance your care when you factor in the interest paid over time by financing, so it’s worth it to pay upfront if you can make the finances work!
After any orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear retainers for the rest of your life to keep your teeth from shifting back — first all day long, then just overnight. Both companies make clear retainers you’ll need to replace around twice per year. As we mentioned, Byte includes one set for free, but charges $129 for every replacement, while SmileDirectClub charges $125.
However, the Byte Protection Plan provides five years’ worth of retainers for $749. Instead of placing individual orders twice per year, Byte will ship your replacements automatically. You’ll get ten sets in total, so you’ll pay around $75 per set instead of $129.
If you’ve used dental insurance for routine dental care, you’re probably wondering if it covers clear aligners. Not always, but it might. It all depends on your provider and plan.
Plans that include orthodontic benefits sometimes cover at-home clear aligners, but other times classify them as a cosmetic treatment. Fortunately, both companies have partnerships with certain insurance companies. Byte’s insurance partnerships include:
While SmileDirectClub’s insurance partnerships include:
- United Healthcare
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Dominion National
- Capital Blue Cross
If you have insurance from one of these companies, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically receive coverage, but you might. Check with your insurance provider or a representative from Byte or SmileDirectClub to find out. As part of Byte’s insurance process, they’ll even assign you a dedicated insurance specialist to help.
Just remember that insurance typically only covers a percentage of your total price, and many plans have limits on age and lifetime spending.
Both companies include free whitening to accompany your aligners, which is a nice touch that allows you to brighten your smile while you straighten your teeth. However, Byte also includes their HyperByte device in the cost of your aligner bundle. This is a huge benefit to you, as the HyperByte retails for $699 on its own.
As treatments that you can complete entirely from home, both Byte and SmileDirectClub are significantly more convenient than traditional in-person options, which require regular office visits and usually take 12–18 months. Byte and SmileDirectClub have each made an effort to streamline the treatment process, and we think they even top their at-home competitors in convenience.
- No physical locations that offer teeth scans, so you’ll need to use an impression kit.
- The advertised average treatment plan length is 4–5 months.
- Offers a nighttime-only option that requires aligner use for only ten hours per day.
- Allows you to use aligners and whitening products simultaneously.
- Has 100+ SmileShops for free teeth scans as an alternative to impression kits. Also has 1,000+ dentist partners nationwide.
- The advertised average treatment plan is 4–6 months.
- Offers a nighttime-only option that only requires aligner wear for ten hours per day.
- Also allows simultaneous aligner and whitening use.
When getting started with SmileDirectClub or Byte, you’ll need to send the company images of your teeth. You can purchase an impression kit from either company and use it to create molds of your top and bottom dental arches. Here’s how:
- Read the instructions carefully before beginning.
- Open one container of each type of putty and mix them together.
- Roll the mixture into a cylinder and put it in the plastic tray.
- Bite down on the prepared tray so the putty surrounds your teeth.
- Apply consistent pressure for 3.5 minutes.
- Remove the tray and repeat with your other arch.
However, some customers say impression kits can be difficult, especially considering the fact that most customers have never taken molds of their own teeth. And if you choose Byte, this is the only option, so you’re stuck taking your own impressions.
Go with SmileDirectClub, and you can visit any of their 100+ SmileShops for a free teeth scan. If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of taking impressions, or if you’re eager to start treatment, you can pop into a SmileShop where a dental assistant will scan your teeth for free. This will allow the company to get started on your care plan as quickly as possible. Intraoral scans can be more accurate than taking impressions at home — and studies say patients find them more time-efficient and comfortable too.
SmileDirectClub also partners with more than 1,000 dental offices nationwide, where you can begin your treatment with an in-office consultation and teeth scan if you’d prefer. These dentists won’t be involved throughout your treatment, though. They just take your teeth scans.
One of the biggest advantages at-home aligner treatments have over in-office options is their speed. Byte and SmileDirectClub don’t take nearly as long as braces or Invisalign (which can take 12–24 months or more). Byte claims an average treatment plan length of just 4–5 months, and SmileDirectClub says their plans take 4–6 months on average
This is a relatively new trend in the home aligner industry. Typically, you would wear your aligners for 22 hours per day. But for anyone who doesn’t think they can stick to that schedule, or would rather not remove and replace their aligners to eat and drink, SmileDirectClub and Byte have each introduced a nighttime-only option.
SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Clear Aligners are exactly the same as the ones you would receive for an all-day schedule, but you only wear each set for ten hours per day over two weeks instead of one. Of course, this stretches out the overall timeline — extending it to 8–10 months on average. Byte designs their At-Night aligners specifically for ten-hour-per-day wear using premium plastics, and they claim their average nighttime aligner plan is around 5–6 months long.
To learn more about how they compare, see our guide to Byte At-Night vs. SmileDirectClub Nighttime Aligners.
Both Byte and SmileDirectClub provide clear aligners that fit the contours of your teeth and are much less visible than traditional braces, but there are some small differences in the materials they use that impact each product’s appearance.
- Uses a smooth, translucent, shiny plastic.
- Aligners overlap the gums.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
- Doesn’t incorporate attachments.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic.
- Aligners overlap the gums.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
- Doesn’t incorporate attachments.
SmileDirectClub fashions their aligners from a “frosted” plastic, while Byte uses a smooth, shiny one. What’s the difference? If you want to know our opinion, it’s that aligners made from frosted plastic are actually more discreet because they mimic the naturally matte surface of your teeth. Shiny material can be reflective, which we think makes aligners more noticeable.
However, this debate is largely subjective and depends on your personal preference. Some customers, for example, prefer Byte’s shiny plastic because they think it makes their smiles gleam. You should consider which you’d like better before making your final decision.
Byte’s aligners slightly overlap the gums, as do SmileDirectClub’s standard aligners. Go with the CarePlus option, however, and they advertise a scalloped cut. Straight-cut aligners might be more retentive, but we don’t consider them as discreet as scalloped ones that match the gum line, since people nearby might notice the overlap.
Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and other in-office clear aligners can incorporate elastics, buttons, or engagers that your dentist can affix to your teeth. Research shows that these attachments improve orthodontic tooth movement, but they also make clear aligners more visible.
Byte and SmileDirectClub can’t offer any attachments, since a dentist needs to apply them in person, but that helps their aligners keep a low profile.
Both companies make aligners that are resistant to staining, but we would not recommend drinking colored beverages while wearing them.
Customer Experience Comparison
You want a home aligner company that makes you feel valued and provides quick support when you need it most. When it comes to customer service, it is our impression that Byte provides slightly more personalized and attentive care.
Both companies offer comparable support options, and in examining numerous customer reviews, we found that both companies offer reassuring lifetime warranties. However, we feel that Byte distinguishes itself in terms of overall helpfulness. While they can’t match the personalization of in-person support from a dentist’s office, we think they’ve taken measures to make their remote support highly satisfying.
Byte Customer Experience
SmileDirectClub Customer Experience
- Offers standard communication avenues and will respond on social media as well.
- Provides each customer with a personal Byte advisor to help you get started.
- Receives consistently positive customer reviews.
- The Byte for Life Guarantee protects your smile forever.
- Offers numerous communication avenues.
- Received some negative reviews in the past, but seems to be turning it around.
- Will work to modify your plan if you’re not satisfied, plus offers a full refund within 30 days of starting treatment and prorated refunds after that.
- Their Lifetime Smile Guarantee also protects your smile forever.
Both companies are available during standard business hours on a variety of support platforms — phone, webchat, text, and email. They’re both very active on social media and will respond to questions and concerns there as well.
SmileDirectClub allows you to track your progress on a mobile app and have virtual “Smile Check-ins” with their dental team. According to the SmileDirectClub website, this dental team is available via chat and text for questions 24/7.
Byte also lets you contact their customer support team directly through the My Byte app, which is a quick and easy way to get in touch.
Responsiveness & Helpfulness
Based on many reviews we found, customers generally feel that Byte offers more thoughtful support than SmileDirectClub.
In fact, SmileDirectClub’s customer support has received mixed reviews over the years. Many SmileDirectClub customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of support they received or reported frustrating delays in aligner shipments. The volume of negative reviews and Better Business Bureau complaints accelerated around 2017 as SmileDirectClub attempted to grow its business extremely rapidly. Since then, however, SmileDirectClub seems to have improved its service quality and customer support — especially with the implementation of their Smile Check-ins and mobile app.
By all accounts, Byte is helpful and friendly on all channels. They assign each customer their own personal advisor to help get treatment started. But as another company that’s grown rapidly, they’ve seen a slight uptick in the number of customers who report slow response times.
These companies have fairly similar satisfaction guarantees. Either one will work with you to modify your treatment if your teeth aren’t moving as expected, creating new aligners to get you back on track (provided you’ve followed their treatment protocol).
On top of that, both companies have policies that ensure you keep your new smile for life. Byte’s is called the Byte for Life Guarantee, and SmileDirectClub calls theirs the Lifetime Smile Guarantee. They might have different names, but they operate similarly.
Imagine that your teeth shift five years after you complete treatment. Byte or SmileDirectClub will send you new aligners to shift them back. Ten years? New aligners. Twenty years? You guessed it — they’ll send you new aligners.
However, to qualify, you must wear and replace aftercare retainers as directed. With Byte, you only need to purchase one set per year, while SmileDirectClub requires you to buy two sets each year. Byte lets you get any type of retainers you’d like, as long as you can provide proof of purchase, while SmileDirectClub says you need to buy their retainers, which are $125 per set.
Additionally, SmileDirectClub offers a 30-day full refund window from the start of treatment. After that, you can return your unused, unopened aligners for a prorated refund, based on how many aligners you send back.
Byte Company Background
SmileDirectClub Company Background
- Founded in 2018.
- Quickly gained popularity due to their innovative technology and excellent customer service.
- Currently one of the industry’s largest and most popular companies.
- Founded in 2014.
- Largest home aligner company in the industry.
- Has transformed over two million smiles to date.
After they started in 2018, Byte quickly grew into one of the largest and most established companies in the industry, and they’ve risen to the top of our rankings as well. At first, we were unsure if Byte could compete with an established industry giant like SmileDirectClub, which then had over 2,000 employees and had served over one hundred thousand customers (today, the numbers are even higher).
However, it appears that SmileDirectClub grew too quickly, and based on the reviews from earlier customers, their support suffered as a result. While they seem to have improved since then, Byte jumped on that opportunity to present a viable at-home alternative, promoting intriguing technology and personalized customer support.
And customers quickly took notice. Since their start in 2018, we think Byte has delivered on their claims for quality products and solid customer service. Plus, since they’re owned by Dentsply Sirona, they have the resources of a large, widely trusted dental product manufacturer behind them.
In our opinion, SmileDirectClub is still a highly convenient option, and they’re working to make the startup process even more accessible by opening additional SmileShops across the country. But all things considered, Byte is our overall top-ranked home aligner company.
What Are Customers Saying?
When we review a company like Byte or SmileDirectClub, we start by digging through online user reviews to understand the common issues customers face, and how the company handles them. Here’s how these two services stack up.
Generally, Byte users express positivity and satisfaction with their experience. They often say they chose Byte because they appreciated the convenience of an efficient treatment plan, and liked that the HyperByte device could help eliminate some of the discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment.
Some customers, however, have noted that Byte’s aligners didn’t straighten their teeth as much as they’d expected, and they had to seek refinements, extending their treatment time. Others were pleased with their results, but frustrated by going back and forth with customer support. These cases seem to be the exception rather than the rule, but they’re definitely something to consider as you research various aligners.
In the cases where something goes wrong, it seems like Byte worked to resolve the issue. So you can be confident that if you experience any issues during treatment, their support team will have your back.
- “My biggest concern was my gap between my two front teeth and that has definitely been fixed. However, the crowding in my bottom teeth was not fixed and I need to get more aligners than I was originally supposed to have to correct it. What is nice about that though, is that I don’t have to pay any additional money for my refinement aligners.”
- “Each time I have reached out with questions, the response time has been quick and helpful.”
- “Their hyperbyte vibrate device was a LIFESAVER when it came to the initial discomfort…Their device is basically a vibrating mouth piece and I’d recommend buying it regardless of what company you’d use.”
Note: In June 2023, SmileDirectClub settled an action brought by the Attorney General of Washington DC alleging that the company had engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by requiring customers, as a condition for receiving refunds, to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Learn More.
Each set of aligners seems well-made (most people don’t need to file down any rough edges or irregularities, unlike some other brands), and the treatment process is reportedly only mildly uncomfortable. Most customers report increased discomfort for the first day or two of each aligner set, especially when removing them after a long time. This pain subsides quickly and, for most customers, is not a major concern. A majority complete their treatment and feel satisfied with the results.
- “Customer service has been amazing with communicating with me with getting my refinements done. I went to a smileshop and had a scan done and they were so friendly and explained everything.”
- “While the wait for the 3D plan to be developed and the aligners to be shipped took forever, I was pleased with my 6-month plan. My teeth are not only straighter but they are whiter too. Customer service was easy through Facebook messenger and never had any issues.”
- “The process of ordering them was very easy and customer support was always quick to answer any questions I had. I finished my aligners in September and since my teeth aren’t exactly as I had hoped (still a gap in the front), I contacted smile direct club and they are sending me some refinements.”
There’s plenty more where that came from. Check out all of our SmileDirectClub reviews from real customers and the video reviews below.
Which Home Teeth Aligner Should You Use?
As you can see, SmileDirectClub and Byte have a lot in common, but their differences are where you want to focus when making a final decision. If you’re still not sure which clear aligner service to choose, let’s look at a couple scenarios that might help you figure out which is the better option for you.
Choose Byte if You Are:
Interested in their HyperByte technology, want personalized customer support, and don’t mind working with a slightly younger company.
Choose SmileDirectClub if You Are:
More comfortable purchasing from the most well-established brand name with top-notch convenience. Bonus points if you live near a SmileShop location.
We Recommend Byte For Most People
SmileDirectClub and Byte both offer a convenient and affordable alternative to visiting your dental provider for Invisalign treatment. Still, we recommend Byte, which sets itself apart with their technology and — in our view — a better overall customer support experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started with SmileDirectClub or Byte?
You can kick off your Byte treatment by purchasing and completing an impression kit. This means using putty to make molds of your top and bottom dental arches. We think starting with SmileDirectClub is easier. They offer an impression kit, but they also have 100+ SmileShop locations where you can get a free in-person teeth scan, and a network of more than 1,000 partnering dentists who can get you started in the office.
What are customers saying about Byte and SmileDirectClub?
Byte customers rave about everything from support to aligner comfort, but we also found some instances where customers were disappointed with their final results. Most SmileDirectClub customers are satisfied with their experience, although some report frustration with slow communication and customer support.
Should I choose nighttime or daytime treatment?
SmileDirectClub and Byte both offer a nighttime-only treatment that allows you to wear your aligners for ten hours per night rather than 22 hours per day. Nighttime treatment is great for frequent snackers or people who forget to wear aligners consistently. Daytime treatment is a better option for someone who’s looking to complete their treatment as quickly as possible.
What is the cheapest home aligner company?
AlignerCo. At just $995, their price beats every competitor we reviewed by a few hundred dollars, and sometimes they run promotions that drop it even lower. And if you can’t pay that up front, you can jump on a financing plan, regardless of your credit score. Check out our complete AlignerCo review for more info, or find other great-value options in our guide to the most affordable home aligners.
Will home aligners work for me?
It depends on your condition. Since home aligners don’t require office visits and in-person oversight, they can’t treat severe conditions like most jaw misalignments. If you have a mild or moderate case of crowding or spacing, you might be a good fit, though.
How do SmileDirectClub and Byte compare to Invisalign?
Both treatments use a series of clear aligners to shift your teeth. The major difference is that your dentist or orthodontist will administer Invisalign in-office and can incorporate supplement attachments (elastics, buttons, etc.).
As a result, Invisalign can treat almost any condition that braces can. Home aligners don’t require office visits, so they can’t employ attachments and they have a smaller range of treatable cases. Take a look at our SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign and Byte vs. Invisalign guides for a deeper analysis.
How long does home aligner treatment take?
In most cases, six months. Your timeline could be shorter or longer, though, depending on your condition’s severity and how consistently you wear your aligners. Byte advertises an average treatment plan length of 4–5 months.
How much do home aligners cost?
They go for $1,200–$2,500, depending on which company you choose. AlignerCo, for example, has cut out the bells and whistles to provide treatment at just $995, while other companies cost around $1,800–$1,900. Even the most expensive home aligners are still much cheaper than the $3,000–$8,000 you’ll pay for Invisalign or braces.
Does insurance cover home aligners?
Sometimes, but not often. Many insurance providers don’t cover cosmetic treatments, which includes home aligners. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, though, you might receive a partial reimbursement. The only way to know for sure is to contact your provider directly.
Are home aligners safe?
At-home clear aligner treatment plans are always designed and/or approved by a licensed dentist or orthodontist — as long as you’re buying from a legitimate clear aligner service.
The main concern regarding the safety of fully-remote clear aligner treatment is the lack of face-to-face care. Since you won’t be seeing a dentist in-person during treatment, you won’t receive the same level of support that you’d get with traditional in-office aligners like Invisalign or ClearCorrect. That said, a recent NIH-funded survey found the majority of at-home aligner customers were satisfied with their results, and only 6.6% experienced side effects necessitating a visit to their local dentist.
Read our guide to safe home teeth straightening treatment for more information.
Do home aligners hurt?
When you switch to a new aligner set every two weeks, you might experience some discomfort for the first day or two, but after that, you’ll hardly notice them.